Antio'chus Ii. or Antio'chus Theos
), king of SYRIA, surnamed THEOS (Θεός
), a surname which he derived from the Milesians whom he delivered from their tyrant, Timarchus, succeeded his father in B. C. 261. Soon after his accession he became involved in war with Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, which lasted for many years and greatly weakened the Syrian kingdom. Taking advantage of this weakness, Arsaces was able to establish the Parthian empire in B. C. 250; and his example was shortly afterwards followed by Theodotus, the governor of Bactria, who revolted from Antiochus and made Bactria an independent kingdom.
The loss of these provinces induced Antiochus to sue for peace, which was granted (B. C. 250) on condition of his putting away his former wife Laodice and marrying Berenice, a daughter of Ptolemy.
This connexion between Syria and Egypt is referred to in the book of Daniel (11.6), where by the king of the south we are to understand Egypt, and by the king of the north, Syria, On the death of Ptolemy two years afterwards Antiochus recalled Laodice, but she could not forgive the insult that had been shewn her, and, still mistrusting Antiochus, caused him to be murdered as well as Berenice and her son. Antiochus was killed in B. C. 246, after a reign of fifteen years. By Laodice he had four children, Seleucus Callinicus, who succeeded him, Antiochus Hierax, a daughter, Stratonice, married to Mithridates, and another daughter married to Ariarathes. Phylarchus related (Athen. 10.438
), that Antiochus was much given to wine. (Appian, App. Syr. 65
; Athen. 2.45
; Justin, 27.1
; Polyaen. 8.50
; V. Max. 9.14.1
, extern.; Hieronym. ad Dan.
100.11.) On the reverse of the coin annexed, Hercules is represented with his club in his hand. (Eckhel, iii. p. 218.)